Drop Something and Watch City Hunter

City Hunter is an episodic action–comedy about a man named Ryo Saeba. Let me stress that Ryo is a man. I don’t mean this simply in the sense of man vs. woman. I’m talking man vs. boy, man vs. male, and man vs. neutered, androgynous wimp.

City Hunter was made back in the 80s when it was acceptable for men to have biceps and sideburns. It was a time when men would wear white suits and lean on things for no reason. Men would style their hair with a comb, not a hairbrush, their fingers, or a pillow. Men didn’t need sparkles and flowers to tell the audience they’re supposed to be attractive. Most importantly, men would treat underage females as children, not sex objects.

City Hunter has four seasons, six movies/OVAs/specials, a spinoff series, a K-drama, and a Jackie Chan movie. So then, why haven’t you heard of City Hunter? Because most anime fans nowadays are pedophiles. They get excited over shows like Angel Beats, the high point of which was some guy saying, “Get Chance and Luck!” I wonder where that came from…

Note the fade-in. City Hunter uses it to perfection, just like every other show that has ever used an opening or ending fade-in ever (e.g., Infinite Ryvius, Ayashi no Ceres, Air, Kannazuki no Miko, Shakugan no Shana III, Fushigi Yuugi). I can’t think of any other checklist element with a 100% success rate. Not even lesbians. Does this mean fade-ins are better than lesbians? Yes, it does. They’re even better than stepping on twigs.

The first season starts out fairly serious but quickly settles into its comedic groove. The second season takes everything the first season did well and does it even better. Side characters are more involved, there are several two-episode stories, and the show dropped its M&M’s product placement after the first few episodes.

Current Grade: ++

Over the course of 63 episodes, City Hunter 2 had many episodes that were simply good, not great. Had the second season been limited to its 30-or-so best episodes, I would’ve given it the +++.

As of this writing, I have yet to give the +++ to any true episodic series. City Hunter 2 is as close as I’ve come. Detroit Metal City has too many callback jokes to qualify as truly episodic. I gave the +++ to Aria’s third season only, which had many plot-dependent episodes to conclude the series. As for the first two seasons, I must be the only Aria fan who’s comfortable admitting that some of the episodes are pretty boring.

35 Replies to “Drop Something and Watch City Hunter”

  1. I’ve never known someone to have seen City Hunter and not loved it. Might be about time for me to check it out, once I’ve dropped the entire new season except for Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.

    • You keep good company. I don’t know anyone who’s watched City Hunter aside from some of the commenters here apparently.

      I haven’t seen anything from this current season and can’t meaningfully critique it, but City Hunter is better.

    • Get Wild is an ideal ending song. Depending on the tone at the end of the episode, you could either start with the softer beginning part or skip to the rougher bass line. The second season’s ending songs have one-size-fits-all intros that sometimes sound awkward when tying up a serious episode.

      Sunrise Airlines was all over the second season. They must’ve expanded their fleet by buying out M&M’s airlines.

    • Given today’s standards for fanservice, I didn’t associate the word with City Hunter until you mentioned it. It applies, certainly, but it’s classy, and by classy I mean the women are over 18. It also tends to be relevant to Ryo’s point of view and actions, so it’s not just fanservice for the sake of fanservice.

  2. On your recommendation, I went back and re-watched episode 1 of City Hunter.

    Thanks pal!!

    Those fuckwits that are doing K and PsychoPass should have skewed in THIS direction.

    • My pleasure. I may have been preaching to the choir this time, but it’s still nice to know some people take my recommendations seriously.

      There’s an anime called K now? How many letters are left?

      • They left out ALL of the letters.

        And if they had left “K” out as well, it might have been a vast improvement. But….not bloody likely. It was like they were drunk and stopped by the police and asked to alphabet backwards, and all they could say was, “…’K.” It’s too bad the police didn’t just arrest them then and there.

  3. I just have to make a curious aside here, because you brought up something that made me really think about a series I haven’t bothered to think about in a while, and note that among the shows having used the fade-in technique properly you listed Shakugan no Shana Season 3. Thinking back, you’re absolutely right, that show’s use of fade-in for its ED was almost always perfectly timed on whatever high-tension, often-cliffhanger situation was dropped in the viewer’s lap. But I don’t think the previous seasons did that at all. Hell, up until that season, I barely remember what happened because it didn’t have any sort of importance ascribed to it. Season 3 alternatively threw everything else out of the window and did, well, all the things that it did and shocked what would probably have been a cow-eyed zombie-like audience so much that I guess the appropriate use of fade-in seems to fit along with that.

    Which brings me to my point, is appropriate use of fade-in ED’s one of many things that might signify an increase in quality of a show’s material itself? As if to say, the creators know their plot piques the viewer’s interest and are augmenting that with the ED, instead of just throwing the ED in there out of obligation and admitting that whatever had occurred before it had no special significance?

    It really makes me wonder…

    • Fine, I’ll write a separate post about fade-ins. But it’s going to be tough since I already used up my lesbian joke.

      (Somewhere out there a lazy blogger is whining about writer’s block.)

  4. If only I could drop what I’m watching. Right now I’m on Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood as recommended to me several times by friends. It is really awesome, unlike stupid shit like Naruto. Golgo 13 is still better though. And this reminds me of Bond movies.

  5. […] Intrigued by the power of the fade-in? Shakugan no Shana III has all your answers. If an ending transition exists, Shana III has used it (spoiler warnings): 1. No fade-in, standard ending sequence: episodes 5–7 and 9. The kind of ending you’ll find in most shows, and, unfortunately, the only kind of ending you’ll find in most shows. Can be very enjoyable, just in a manner independent of the episode content before it. Useful for sudden transitions, though rarely used exclusively or even primarily to this end. Can be used in earlier episodes to contrast with more powerful endings in later episodes. Fansubbers used to cut this kind of ending to save disk space and bandwidth. […]

  6. yeah to sum up, ryo takes a job from a woman, he tries to foddle, he protects and saves them, rinse and repeat, boring stupid kid stuff. made for kids who have never and will never see real boobs, fan service is god awful always was and always will be. 100+ episodes of just stupid sh!te!!!!

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